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From The Socialist newspaper, 7 April 2009

EU presses for cuts in public spending

LAST WEEK'S summit of European Union (EU) finance ministers gave the British government six months to come up with plans to cut public spending.

Meeting in Prague, the EU finance committee warned the UK to cut its budget deficit to the EU 'Stability and Growth Pact' limit of 3% of gross domestic product (GDP) within four years.

In a press statement issued by the No2EU-Yes to Democracy electoral alliance, Socialist Party councillor Dave Nellist argued that, with a government deficit of 78 billion last year equivalent to 5.4% of GDP, meeting the EU target would mean cutting 35 billion of public spending in one year.

"Local authorities are already conducting a 'doomsday study' of the potential impact on local council budgets of up to 30% funding cuts and it paints an horrific picture for local services", he said. "Local councils would no longer be able to provide even the current standard of services, particularly in fields such as social care".

The No2EU-Yes to Democracy convener Bob Crow, the general secretary of the RMT transport workers' union, also condemned the EU decision. The EU's public spending criteria has enforced the privatisation of capital projects to keep them off the government's books, by means of private finance initiatives (PFI) and the disastrous PPP on London Underground, which increased the costs of public services and subsidised corporate profits.

"It is clear that EU leaders want ordinary working people to pay for the recession, by cutting essential public services, instead of the banks and finance companies that contributed so much to the economic crisis in the first place", he said.

"That's why a vote for No2EU-Yes to Democracy against the EU's privatisation agenda is so essential on 4 June".

  • No2EU-Yes to Democracy held its first meeting in the North West region on 4 April. A regional steering committee was elected to co-ordinate the campaign, with a launch meeting planned in Preston on Saturday 25 April. For more information contact no2eunorthwest@hotmail.co.uk
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    In The Socialist 7 April 2009:

    Visteon car workers fight for their rights

    Reports from Visteon plants in Belfast, Enfield and Basildon

    National Union of Teachers Conference: Call national action on workload


    Youth fight for jobs

    Youth march for jobs: This is only the beginning!

    NUS leaders out of touch


    Socialist Party editorial

    No solution at London G20 summit

    G20 Summit protests: Democratic rights trampled on


    Socialist Party feature

    The battle to defeat the Poll Tax


    Socialist Party campaigns

    EU presses for cuts in public spending

    Fast news


    International socialist news

    Stop the slaughter of Tamils in Sri Lanka

    Arundhati Roy indicts the Sri Lankan Rajapakse regime

    Egyptian regime: 'Scared that independent unions will succeed; scared a revolution will happen'

    Solidarity with Kazakhstan oil workers


    Socialist Party workplace news

    Conned by John Lewis

    Stockport cab drivers fight deregulation

    No cuts to further education in Wales!

    Campaign forces suspension of Wirral library closures

    Unison elections

    Rail workers fight job cuts


     

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